University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Thane Gehring Open Journal Systems <p>The DU Undergraduate Research Journal is a biannual, peer reviewed publication of research articles from all undergraduate disciplines. The mission of DUURJ is to encourage, recognize, and celebrate intellectual activity that occurs outside of the classroom, though exemplary research conducted in classroom settings may also be displayed. The journal staff is comprised entirely of&nbsp; DU undergraduate students and works in conjunction with the Undergraduate Research Association to promote academic research across all disciplines.</p> <p>DUURJ accepts manuscripts on a rolling basis. For information on submission guidelines, click <a href="">here</a>. If you have questions about how to submit, please see <a href="" data-external="true">here</a> or contact us directly at If you are interested in joining DUURJ as an editor, please email us at;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> The Community Influence of Sponge and Coral Aquaculture in Zanzibar 2020-05-01T15:31:14+00:00 Hanna Gaertner <p style="margin: 0px 0px 10.66px; line-height: 115%;"><strong><span style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif;"><span style="margin: 0px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; </span></span></strong><span style="margin: 0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman',serif;">Aquaculture has been presented as a means of income for coastal communities, particularly in the context of climate change and resource exploitation. The NGO Marine Cultures in Jambiani, Zanzibar has established a sponge cultivation program for women in response to declining feasibility of seaweed farming from warming ocean temperatures. In addition, the organization strives to restore a severely damaged reef while providing employment for coral farmers and tour boat operators. This study analyzed the influence of aquaculture on community stakeholders, primarily with respect to sponge cultivation and secondarily in regard to coral farms. Using Marine Cultures as a case study, the principal aim was to investigate the impacts of sponge farms on the lives of women, with supplementary examination of the coral project and potential for community benefit. Participant observation and interviews were employed to generate qualitative data about the farms themselves, Marine Cultures, and the individuals impacted, predominantly women sponge farmers. The results of the study were a holistic narrative of Marine Cultures, four biographical sketches (three sponge farmers and one coral farmer) and a clear representation of aquaculture’s benefits to individuals.</span></p> 2020-04-20T22:10:07+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Wood-Inhabiting Fungi of the Eastern Ecuadorian Cloud Forest 2020-05-01T15:31:14+00:00 Thane Gehring <p>Wood-inhabiting fungi are responsible for the degradation of dead wood, playing a role in nutrient cycling and nutrient transport making them indispensable to their ecosystem’s health. Fungi are generally understudied, specifically in the tropics despite its proven hotspot in diversity and the importance of conservation. Wood-inhabiting fungi were investigated in the eastern Andean montane cloud forest of Ecuador to determine the biodiversity, distribution, and relation to an altitudinal gradient. Along multiple ridges of EcoMinga’s Rio Zuñac reserve, 13 20x20 meter (0.1-hectare) quadrants between the altitudes of 1300 to 2000 meters were sampled for wood-inhabiting fungi. A total of 175 samples were taken comprised of 36 families and 152 species demonstrating extremely high diversity and low species coverage. Six different altitudes were compared, and it was found that the communities were neither distinct nor the same provoking the need for more study on the complete effect of altitude and different abiotic factors. Ten logs with fungal fruiting bodies were monitored for ten days to understand the differing lifecycles of a variety of fungi. The majority of the fungi had a lifecycle of longer than ten days while some completed multiple.</p> 2020-04-20T22:08:08+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Examining the roles of the conserved mRNA deadenylase complex on Drosophila neuronal structures. 2020-05-01T15:31:14+00:00 Megan McCaughey Scott Barbee <p>The most common cause of inherited mental deficiency and monogenetic cause of autism, Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), is one disease that there is little known about its origins and is the focus of this paper. This series of experiments examined the potential role of mRNA deadenylation proteins as contributing factors to the pathogenesis of FXS using&nbsp;<em>Drosophila melanogaster</em>&nbsp;as a model organism. One of the main complexes involved in deadenylation is the CNOT complex, which is comprised of many proteins, including POP2, TWIN, and NOT3. Each protein plays a unique role within the CNOT complex and this study hoped to further characterize these genes. Previous research in the Barbee lab has shown that these genes influence synapse development of the pre-synaptic terminal at the larval neuromuscular junction in&nbsp;<em>D. melanogaster</em>. However, it had not been tested whether POP2, TWIN, and NOT3 also have a post-synaptic effect. The localization of these genes at the neuromuscular junction was also examined and they were found to be concentrated in the pre-synaptic terminal. Finally, this study looked at whether these genes had any role in the development of sensory neurons. There was a significant increase in sensory neuron dendritic growth and a significant decrease in the complexity of the dendritic branches. These results provide insight into the characterization of TWIN, POP2, and NOT3, and their roles within the development of&nbsp;<em>D. melanogaster</em>. Future experiments will examine the genetic and biochemical relationship between the deadenylase complex and FXS in the&nbsp;<em>D. melanogaster</em>&nbsp;model.</p> 2020-04-20T22:07:42+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Serving with Pride 2020-05-01T15:31:14+00:00 Kathlene Ward <p>At the inception of World War II, the United States military adapted to include women within its ranks with the creation of the Women’s Army Corps. Likewise, psychology’s implementation into military procedures legitimized systematic exclusion and removal of queer persons seeking military involvement. Such factors resulted in a particularly unique environment for queer servicewomen. The birth of the Cold War brought about a new wave of heterosexual expectations that forced queer individuals in the U.S. military even farther into the closet. This project seeks to discover how gender and sexuality expectations placed upon queer women serving in the World War II and early Cold War U.S. military influenced them in their years after service. The conclusion of such research is that the military’s clamping down on sexuality, paired with the all-female environment of women’s units, encouraged queer women to more boldly assert their sexuality in the years following their service, which propelled the gay liberation forward. The work done in the post-service years, while not always manifesting as clear-cut activism, broadened the movement in often unexpected ways.</p> 2020-04-20T22:08:45+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Islamic Revivalism and Democracy in Malaysia 2020-05-01T15:31:14+00:00 Ashton Word <p>The paper examines democracy and secularism in Malaysia, a state rooted in Islam, and how it has been implemented in a country with a majority Muslim population. It briefly outlines how Islam was brought to the region and how British colonialism was able to implement secularism and democratic practices in such a way that religion was not wholeheartedly erased. Indeed, peaceful decolonization combined with a history of accommodating elites, served to promote a newly independent Malaysia, to create a constitutional democracy which declares Islam as the religion of the Federation and simultaneously religious freedom. Despite the constitution, UMNO, Malaysia’s ruling party for 61 years, managed to cap democracy through a variety of methods, including enraging ethnic tensions and checking electoral competitiveness. Growing public discontent from such actions resulted in Islamic Revivalist movements and an increased Islamization at the expense of secular values. UMNO’s 2018 electoral loss to PH suggests a new commitment to democracy and reform which if carried out will likely result in a return to secular norms with Islamic elements that still maintain religious freedom rights and democratic practices which over the last two decades have been called into question.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2020-04-20T22:09:34+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Morocco’s Informal Economy: The Role of Rotating Savings in Rabat 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Grace LaMendola <p><em>This research project is a case study concerned with how the practice of Rotational Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) function within Rabat, Morocco. Research was guided by the following questions: Why is this form of money management utilized? Who is the typical participant in ROSCAs? What sort of purchases are financed through this practice? And what does the changing popularity of ROSCAs mean for future generations? In order to begin answering these questions I collected considerable qualitative data throughout my four month long stay in the Medina of Rabat during Fall of 2019. I also supplemented this data with secondary research done on ROSCAs throughout the world and discussed topics such as the social economy, impacts of Islam, and Morocco’s wholistic economy. In this paper’s summation I review all the collected sources in order to comment on the value of ROSCAs in communities like Rabat, explore possible interferences with my work, and discuss the need for continued research on the topic.</em></p> 2020-04-20T22:09:18+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Linguistic Complexity and the Post-Earnings Announcement Drift 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Johnathan Youngs <p>In this paper, I investigate the relationship between the relative complexity of the annual earnings announcement conference call and the Post-Earnings Announcement Drift. I measure the linguistic complexity and the length of transcripts of conference calls of large public companies in the S&amp;P 500 using the <em>Fog</em> Index from computational linguistics. Consistent with my hypotheses, I find that both the timeliness and magnitude of the market’s reaction to qualitative information in annual conference calls exhibit some evidence of a price drift. This research may be relevant to analysts, investors, managers, and regulators that wish to standardize how information within earnings conference calls is presented. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> 2020-04-20T22:09:52+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Perfect Circles 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Stella Yoos Jennifer Hoffman Andrew Fullard <p>This paper discusses two Wolf-Rayet binary stars, WR 42 and WR 79, that are nearly identical systems. I analyzed these binaries and their interaction regions using spectropolarimetry. I also performed a least-squares fit of a theoretical sinusoid to the polarization data of each star. This fit returns three primary orbital parameters – which I compared with the values obtained by previous studies done on these objects. Although our data matches previous estimates generally, there are some deviations worth noting that may indicate a more complex picture of those scattering regions than current models can account for.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> 2020-04-20T22:10:30+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal The Cycle of Failing Reform 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Grace Gonzalez Michael Campbell <p>This paper examines the state of Colorado’s failing criminal justice system, particularly as it pertains to mentally-ill detainees. For several years, mentally-ill detainees in Colorado have been forced to wait for unconstitutional amounts of time to receive court-ordered evaluations to determine mental competency before trial. The state’s continued failures to administer these evaluations in a timely manner have led to a series of complaints and lawsuits against the state; unfortunately, these lawsuits have ultimately done little to create lasting reform. The state has managed to temporarily mitigate the problem as complaints of unconstitutional wait times arise, but it has disregarded the broader failures in the criminal justice system and that outpatient, community-based programs may be more beneficial to mentally-ill detainees than a state forensic hospital.</p> 2020-04-20T22:08:25+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Establishment of the Classical Saxophone: 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Emily Nicol Art Bouton <p>The instrumental design of the saxophone has evolved dramatically from its original patent in 1846. Referencing instruments from the St. Cecilia’s Hall Music Museum at the University of Edinburgh, this article explores the historical origins of the saxophone and traces the evolution of its design into the 20<sup>th</sup>century. Despite its intention to be used as a classical instrument, many factors such as politics, instrument structure, finances, and musician attitude at the time of the saxophone’s invention resulted in limited classical saxophone performance in the modern day. This article addresses the importance of exploring the early history of instruments as an aspect of contemporary musical study.</p> 2020-04-20T22:09:01+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Brett Lundstrom 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Laurel Schlegel <p>VLP&nbsp;</p> 2020-04-20T22:11:08+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Jake Fegan 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 Jake Fegan <p>This is a biography of Frank Trujillo who served in the Vietrnam War.&nbsp;</p> 2020-04-20T22:11:38+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Phil Danielson Interview 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 William Moody <p>Interview with Dr. Phil Danielson</p> 2020-04-20T22:23:10+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal Seth Masket Interview 2020-05-01T15:31:15+00:00 William Moody <p>Interview with Dr. Seth Masket</p> 2020-04-20T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2020 University of Denver Undergraduate Research Journal